Archive: April 2011
5 easy website content writing tips
Posted in April 27 2011
I often get asked by my clients if they’re able to write their own content for their website because they either want to feel more involved or they want to save on outsourcing costs for copywriting. Whatever the reason, I always encourage my clients to write their own copy because at the end of the day, they know their business better than anyone else.
Sometimes though, my clients (usually small business owners) get a bit lost or they don’t know how to get started or they worry about writing content that’s great for SEO and they hit a brick wall.
But writing for the web is very easy. In fact, some argue it’s easier than writing for other mediums. So here’s 5 handy tips to great copywriting for your website:
1. Write for humans, not search engines
Yes, it’s important to have important keywords in your copy but if you focus more on Google and less on your customer, your copy will come across as spam-like and will be an immediate turn off.
2. Keep it simple and straightforward
On the Internet, you have mere milliseconds to grab and hold people’s attention. Keeping the content free from unnecessary jargon, buzz words and fluff will keep your reader interested and on your website for longer.
3. Choose a topic and stick to it
Doing this will help you keep your ad copy to the point and highly relevant. If you offer multiple services, have a page dedicated to each service and ensure all content is targeted towards that service alone. Relevancy = search engine goodness.
4. Don’t write essays (unless you need to!)
Why write 500 words when only 100 will do?. If you follow steps 2 and 3, you will be able to write good copy that is short, easy to read and to the point. People like to read things in bite sized chunks. Avoid the waffle!
5. Write for your audience
Think about how you would write to your best friend and how you would write to the Prime Minister. The tone will be quite different and the same goes for your website copy. Write in a way that resonates with your customers. If you’re selling skate gear to teenagers, your tone will be drastically different than if you were selling fine bone china. Don’t isolate your customer with language that doesn’t make sense to them!
and here’s an extra tip: PRACTICE! Writing may not come naturally but if you practice writing 100 word blurbs about your business, your background, services, products etc… you’ll start to get the hang of it, even if it’s never published. Writing is an art and can really make a difference to the website experience you give your customers.
Think before you ink and happy writing from 123SEO – your small business SEO specialists!
When the going gets tough, what gets going?
Posted in April 27 2011
In small business, it’s almost always a hard road.
Mounting costs, very tight budgets and insatiable desires to grow, expand and start making bigger profits. But it doesn’t always have to be so hard.
I mean, think about it. Often the only reason we’re in a tight spot is because we’ve failed to plan and we’ve used our money inefficiently. We’ve allocated dollars without thinking and we haven’t stopped to consider benefits, returns on investment or even risk.
When it comes to SEO, for some odd reason, many small businesses don’t place as much value on it. It’s easily the most affordable marketing tool available (after word of mouth, but that’s another story) yet it’s the one most owners don’t understand, value or appreciate (or even allocate enough dollars to).
In fact, when the going gets tough, the first thing most people do is kill off marketing (which is in effect, killing off SEO). It’s a typical knee-jerk reaction and one that is understandably easy to make. But why oh why is this done?!
I know you’re in a period of low sales but the SEO is contributing to this (albeit in a small way). By killing off your SEO, you’re in effect going from low sales to no sales. It’s almost a given.
Very few businesses can afford to stop SEO and continue moving forward. Invariably when SEO stops, your rankings drop, traffic drops and exposure for your business drops.
I guess you could always go back to YellowPages, right? or perhaps spend $1000+ on a front page ad in the local newspaper? Or even mailbox drops (surely printing and hiring some school kids to deliver is cheaper than SEO?) Wrong.
None of the above will begin to give you the ROI that SEO can and will give. At $330 a month (our most basic package), 123SEO offers a bulletproof SEO solution for your small business that is not only affordable, it’s also effective. It’s a small campaign and means only a few things can be done each month but it’s better than nothing being done.
And that’s why when the going gets tough, you need to start slashing costs elsewhere. Stop frivolous spending, go green and try to cut back on your electricity and water usage. And so on.
Look towards your website and the Internet to cut your operating costs and to actually grow your business the right way.
3 easy SEO things to do in the Easter break
Posted in April 21 2011
What’s that I hear you cry? “you want me to work on SEO during my hard earned Easter break?!”
Yes, I do.
In fact, it’s a great time to do a bit of extra work on your website and SEO so you can bounce back from the Easter break with a headstart. You won’t have to worry about customer calls or emails (for most people) so you’ve got a lot more free time to do the things you should be doing during your working week.
It’s normally a time for people to turn off the engine, unwind and disconnect completely from anything not related to relaxation but I believe by spending a bit of time on your website and SEO, the rewards will pay off nicely.
So here’s 3 quick and easy things to do when you can spare a few minutes:
1. Add your business to directories
You’re probably already included in a fair few directories but chances are there are still more you can join for free or at a very low cost. Doing this gets your business listed (and your website linked to) from more places and also creates a bit more exposure for your business. It’s another very easy way to take up more online real estate.
2. Add your business to social networks and get the conversation going (or rekindle the flames!)
By now you’re already part of Twitter and Facebook (at the very least!) but you may have neglected these great business tools. Get back in there, search for your business name and get the conversation started. If you find no one talking about you, that’s bad! People should be raving about you and even if there’s complaints, this is a golden opportunity to engage with your customers directly and make things right. Don’t limit yourself to these sites either. Consider YouTube, LinkedIn, Squidoo, Quora, … oh there’s so many!
3. Adding blog posts / content to your website
We all know adding more content to our blog/website is important to helping our websites get better rankings and become even more relevant for our target keywords but too often, we brush it off because it is perceived as time consuming and not as important as other things in our business. Now you have the time. You don’t need to write essays or come up with a heap of articles. Start by writing down headlines/topics to discuss and tee them up as drafts. Then just type away when the inspiration hits you and if after the break, you come out with a few new articles/blog posts and about 5 more topic ideas for future content publications, you’ve done well. It’s a start and will help you get into a routine.
Submit new and updating listings in directories, join and be active on social networks and build content on your website – 3 very easy things to do while you’re on a break.
Using YouTube for your small business
Posted in April 6 2011
You don’t need to hire a professional film production company or even get a tv ad made up in order to use YouTube for your small business marketing efforts.
All you need is Windows Movie Maker (comes with most computers running Windows), high quality images of your products/business/staff in action and away you go.
The videos don’t need to be long either. Keeping them to 30 seconds is a good idea if you want to give people a very quick overview of what you have on offer.
Some ideas include:
- product showcase
- tutorial/guidelines (how to set up…., troubleshooting…etc)
- staff in action
- company profile/promo
- product reviews
It’s very versatile and very easy! I would recommend adding music but just be sure you have the rights to use the music (we don’t want any lawsuits!).
And once you’re done adding your video to YouTube, be sure to promote it! Add a link to it from your website (or even embed the video on your website), share it with customers in a newsletter, add a link to it from your email signature, mention it on Twitter and Facebook…
For small businesses on tight marketing budgets, a set of YouTube videos might just be the best tool yet to promote your business.
Talk to us about using YouTube to promote your business.
Google announces the +1 recommendation tool
Posted in April 4 2011In the upcoming weeks a significant change to the way people view Google search will occur.The addition of a +1 button on the right side of Google’s search results will allow users to recommend web-page search results. According to Google’s official announcement 1+ is the digital shorthand for “this is pretty cool,” kind of like Facebook’s Like button. Upon searching on Google, next to a search result will be a grayed out +1 button, and when pressed, you’re saying to the world and your network that you recommend this link. The recommendation will be placed in your Google Profile, and will be seen by anyone in your network, including contacts, chat buddies, etc. There is also an option to keep this information private if you choose so in your profile. Upon doing a search while logged in, all of your +1s or +1s from your network will be enhanced, resulting in a small blip for example that reads, Jane Doe and 17 other people +1’d this. If a search result has gained a lot of +1s but not from people in your network, the number of people without specific names will be viewable. Although Google is mainly focusing on search optimization, in the next few months expect to see a little 1+ button next to Facebook’s Like button and Twitter’s Tweet button on webpages.The response for the +1 button has been generally positive, but that doesn’t stop a few people from speculating the exploits of user generated recommendations. Will large companies influence employees to click the +1 button for higher visibility? Facebook and Twitter both have algorithms in place to gauge social influence and avoid misuse but does Google have the same? Google stresses that the recommendations will come from people who matter using signals to identify the most useful endorsements, basically your network. One has to wonder how this is going to affect the way people search on Google. With a more optimized search experience, tailored to your likes and the likes of friends and family; the current months will prove interesting for how this will change the Googling experience.Users of English Google can start +1ing by upgrading an existing Google profile or by creating one, and if you’re still in a hurry try out Google’s experimental search site.
123SEO is dedicated to small businesses
Posted in April 2 2011123SEO is dedicated to small businesses which is why our SEO campaigns are structured to be under $1000 and free from lock-in contracts.We provide upfront details about your campaign (you know exactly what you’re paying for) and you get a nice detailed report at the end of each month to show you progress and what the plan is for the next month.We know small businesses are often apprehensive about spending money on SEO because there are a lot of unknowns and plenty of renegade operators out there which is why we operate so differently to everyone else.We’re very honest when it comes to SEO. If you need SEO Package 3 ($990 per month) in order to get decent results in a decent timeframe, we’ll tell you. Sure, we could offer a lower price package (for $330 per month) just to sweeten the deal but it’s of no value to you or us if you’re not getting results in a timely manner.Not many SEO companies work like we do and we’re proud of that because the proof is in the pudding. Contact us today and see why we’re the best choice for small business SEO.